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By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002
Roman magistrates on Monday handed over their investigation into claims that legendary Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi was murdered to authorities at Tortona near Alessandria where the rider died in hospital in 1960.
During the weekend Corriere dello Sport alleged that Coppi had been administered a poison during a trip to Burkina Faso in December 1959 before he died on January 2, 1960.
At the time the death was thought to have been of malaria but Corriere reported the testimony of a French monk based in Burkina Faso who said he had been told that the rider was killed in revenge for a fatal accident involving a cyclist from the Ivory Coast. Coppi, still revered in cycling-mad Italy, made history in 1949 by becoming the first man to win the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same season, a feat he repeated in 1952.